Earlier this morning our EMEA diversity team facilitated a rich and engaging discussion on cultural diversity. We had such a diverse group of panelists including a French man living in Japan, a Syrian man living in Sweden and a Nigerian born, American woman now living in Germany. What a melting pot of different experiences and perspectives! It's one of the primary reasons I work at AMS, to have the opportunity to interact with colleagues who I learn from, and challenge my way of doing things!
The panel all shared their "fish out of water" moments - those situations that we have all experienced that jar with our cultural norms - fascinating!
The panel then shared their practical tips for how to improve cultural awareness, communication and inclusive thinking. The top 5 for me include:
- Reflect on how you communicate and the impact that this has on others around you
- Be curious and open, be flexible and have a learning mindset
- Be conscious of time-zones, significant international dates and holidays
- Be empathetic and put yourself in the other person's shoes
- Push yourself outside of your comfort zone
The list could go on! Whether you work in a global business or not, you will undoubtedly interact with different cultures throughout your life. I would love to hear about your perspectives and experiences on how you approach cultural diversity as well as your "fish out of water" moments!